ECO-JESUITS

“Responding to call of the mother Earth”

The South Asian region of the continent is marked by diverse climatic zones and boasts of an extremely varied ecosystem of flora and fauna. However, over the years, the region is experiencing an array of climatic changes. The pressure of ever-increasing human population together with changing hydrology and land resources have had a distinct impact on production of food grains and resilience of ecosystem to maintain equilibrium. Rapid urbanisation and indiscriminate deforestation for selfish interests is constantly depleting our forests, leading to biodiversity losses and desertification. Over dependence on resources has contributed to monumental increase in air and water pollution which in turn has adverse effects not only on humans but also impacts marine and plant life equally. There is steady increase in depletion of energy resources, frequency of natural disasters, pestilence and diseases, food security risks, hazardous wastes, water scarcity- the list can simply go on ceaselessly. The planet is under extreme duress with very little left for future generations if immediate amends are not made. This understanding now resonates world-over with iteration of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) especially around zero hunger (SDG 2), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), affordable and clean energy (SDG 7), sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11), responsible production and consumption (SDG 12), climate action (SDG 13), life below land (SDG 14) and life on land (SDG15).

Following these, further impetus to the cause was added in November 2017, when UN Environment launched the ‘Faith for Earth’ Initiative which highlighted the relevance of
faith-based organisations as sustainable institutions and partners to consult on dealing with conservation and management of natural resources. This has also been reflected in the Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ which further brought to light the complex link between the present ecological crisis and emphasis on an urgent paradigm shift.

ECO-JESUIT INDIA/SOUTH ASIA

Responding to the need of a strong and consistent initiative towards healing the planet and strengthened by the commitment of innumerable people already engaged in environmental protection, individual Jesuits and Provinces as a whole in South Asia have joined hands to form the Jesuit Ecological Network (EcoJesuits) towards realisation of this eco-mission.

VISION

‘Our Mother Earth, Our Common Home’

MISSION

‘Promoting collective responsibility to care, nurture and sustain the Earth, especially those at the margins, manifested in lifestyle and action’

OUR ENGAGEMENTS

OUR OBJECTIVES

1.Increase in ownership and action by local communities towards preservation and management of biodiversity, especially of endangered species, nutritional and medicinal plants

2. Increase in responsibility sharing among local communities towards management of natural resources ensuring equitable opportunity for sustainable livelihoods

3. Reduction in impact of droughts and floods within local communities

4. Propagation of agricultural diversity, organic farming practices, and food security among small and marginal farmers

5. Boost in use of renewable energy by local institutions and communities

6. Increase in number of students and other stakeholders taking eco-actions

7. Promotion of respect for all creation, eco sensitive lifestyles and eco-action

8. Positioning and acquisition of equitable share in benefits by groups affected due to climate change

9. Identification, acknowledgement and research by stakeholders on significant ecological crises affecting vulnerable groups

10. Participation in formulation and implementation of environment favourable policies at state and national level

OUR REACH

100+

Partners spread across 23 Indian states; Nepal and Sri Lanka

60,000

Small and marginal farmers reached

400+

Schools and colleges covered

200+

Farmer groups initiated

3 Lakh+

School children members

30,000+

Awareness programmes/trainings with women/ farmers/ local community conducted

EXEMPLARY EFFORTS

SOCIAL CENTRE, MAHARASHTRA

(55 years of eco-engagements)

Post Graduate programme on Natural Resource Management and Social Development

Setting up “Rural Haat” in coordination with state and central Government and NABARD to provide a direct market to small farmers

Eco-clubs in schools with training on Sustainable Farming, Organic Farming, etc

Construction of Toilet-cum-bathrrom for biogas and kitchen gardens on gray water

Promoting use of renewable energy resources especially solar energy

More than 275 villages made drought free with watershed development “Ridge to Valley” approach

Over 175812 hectares of land treated for soil erosion Awareness generation campaigns on importance of tree
plantation

TARUMITRA, BIHAR

(history of 33 years of sustainable ecological initiatives)

Setting up and management of Bio-reserve by students at its headquarters at Patna, Bihar

Collaborating and networking with local, state and central administrations on prominent ecological issues and ideation for future action

Transformation of roadside garbage dumps into green Oxygen belts by students through planting trees and flowers

Propagating sane and reduced use of plastics and polybags through awareness generation campaigns

Advocating for repair of roads and checking vehicles for pollution levels as means of reducing vehicular pollution

Eco-friendly celebration of festivals

Organic farming and campaign against use of pesticides

Tarumitra received Special Consultative Status from the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations from 2005

GUJARAT JESUIT ECOLOGICAL MISSION (GJEM)
GUJARAT

(7 years of strong eco-conservation efforts)

Extenion of Government schemes and policies to the most vulnerable and marginalised

Leaders in Environmental Forum (LEAF), an education program consisting of outdoor workshops on issues of ecology

Development of Eco-audit parameters on water, energy, waste, land and food for Jesuit communities as minimum standards for Green institutions

Environment Awareness Programs (EAP) for students, teachers, youth and womens’

Green Teacher Programme (GTP) for inspiring & training teachers to engage the students with innovative eco education.

Adi Aushadhi-a Farmer Producer Organization (FPO) for promoting medicinal plant cultivation, processing & marketing

Setting up of Organic kitchen gardens in schools;

GJEM also provides training on kitchen garden to many organizations

Biodiversity Management Committees (BMCs) and People’s Biodiversity Registers (PBRs) have been created through collaboration with villagers,
for promoting conservation, sustainable use, and documentation of biological diversity

Farmers trained in organic farming through multiple programmes Art workshops and exhibitions with children, youth and eminent as well as emergent artists in Kerala and Gujarat around prominent ecological themes

A FEW NOTABLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Entomology Research Centre

Loyola College Chennai – developed a number of products by isolating several pesticidal molecules from plant extracts, plant oils, microbes and seed weeds. It has also been able to preserve 10 endangered medicinal plants and reintroduced them in the forests. It received an honour from Tamil Nadu Government for this initiative.  

  • Development of Biopesticide ‘Ponneem’ (for use on plants) from Neem and
    Karanj Oil
  • Development of Biopesticide ‘Mos Repel’ (mosquito repellant) from plant-
    based volatile oils

     Conservation of endangered species

Andhra Loyola College worked on in-situ (on-site/ within natural habitat) & ex- situ (off-site/ outside natural habitat in gardens, nurseries, etc.) conservation of rare and endangered species, development of Herbarium, Biological park & Botanical garden

 

     Against mining & deforestation

Goa province participation in and organization of numerous campaigns against mining & deforestation.

 

Relief and Response work in Nepal Region

Nepal Province was engaged in extensive relief & response work in response to Nepal earthquake.

 

     Solar based food processing

Being promoted for development of livelihoods for poor families.

 

     Herbal Medicines

Being promoted by Jesuits in Mumbai, Patna, Kerala & other Provinces.

 

Solar Alliance

Promoting solar lighting, water heaters, solar cookers, solar water pumps and solar driers in many Jesuit and Non-Jesuit Institutions.